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Old January 15, 2012, 05:37 PM   #1
cbhester
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German Shorthair for Quail and Pet

Ive been wanting a liver roan german shorthaired pointer for 4-5 years now, mainly because they are (in my opinion) one of the best looking dog breeds out there and up until this years quail season i never really got into bird hunting. Now that i tried quail hunting and love it im debating on getting this dog for a pet first, and a hunting dog second. Does anyone have any experience hunting a dog that you also treat like a pet? I didnt know if spoiling a dog as a pet might negativley affect hunting discipline and overall ability. Any advie is appreciated as always!
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Old January 15, 2012, 05:53 PM   #2
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I have hunted quail over German Shorthairs. Good noses, a little high strung and had to watch him in the heat. He did eat the my friend's couch...
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Old January 15, 2012, 06:05 PM   #3
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My dad has a GSP that he said would be a "hunting dog only." Well it sleeps in the house now if it's less than about 60 outside. He's seen no adverse effects in her hunting skill, as long as he works her often with dummies or farm-raised birds. She just loves to hunt. As for a GSP as a pet, they're great if you have land and will run them. I've never seen a more hyper dog.
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Old January 15, 2012, 06:41 PM   #4
buck460XVR
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I hunted over GSPs for years. I now hunt over GWPs. Both breeds are excellent pointers and both can be excellent family pets. Both breeds can be both at the same time. How good they are at either is generally up to the owner.
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Old January 17, 2012, 02:23 PM   #5
thinkingman
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GSP would not be my choice.
You have a pet for 365 days a year and a pointer for maybe 20?
I chose a labrador from an upland breeder.
She is not a ranging pointer, but knows how to find birds and is disciplined, intelligent.
She is a great pet 365 days a year.
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Old January 17, 2012, 03:04 PM   #6
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I've always had shorthairs as pets and bird-dogs. Most of them have been good at being both and a few have been excellent in both. The smaller strains seem to be more high strung and energetic but they'll all chill out with age. I have an 80lb male that lets my 18 month old crawl all over him, pull on him, climb on him etc. He's very protective of him in spite of that. My 50 lb female is high strung, smart and trouble but is equally good with my kids and becomes a lap dog after dark.

I've always found them to biddable and versatile more so than the Labs, Goldens and other breeds like that. I had a female you could hunt ducks with early, walk up quail mid morning, shoot a limit of doves with and then tract a downed deer if you needed her to. Then she'd lay down right beside my chair and bed to sleep. I never once taught that dog to retrieve, she just did it, same with housebreaking took her out a couple of times and she never went in the house again. My 80lb male is one of her pups.

Properly trained and dealt with, there is no finer breed of dog out there. Though I caution a bargain dog from a backyard breeder.
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Old January 17, 2012, 04:06 PM   #7
warbirdlover
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My BIL (years ago) got a German Shorthair and it was very "headstrong". He didn't know how to train it I suppose. You'd let it go in the field and he'd be 100 yards ahead of you getting birds up all over the place.

When they left the house for short trips (couple hours) they'd leave him in the "breezeway" and he ate most of the wood there destroying it.

Similar to a Samoyed I had...

Other BIL's have Labs and all are super hunters, pheasants or ducks....

If you want to spend some time and know how to train them German Shorthairs are great. If you've never trained a dog go for a Lab. Even I could train a lab.
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Old January 17, 2012, 04:59 PM   #8
Saltydog235
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Shorthairs don't do well when you leave them confined with your belongings. IF they are family oriented dogs, they tend to get seperation anxiety pretty bad. The female I spoke of earlier ate a recliner at 6 months of age because I mad ethe mistake of leaving her alone with a male I had. He slept on the couch and was under my bed when I got home. She greeted me with a wagging tail, stuffing hanging out of her mouth and a look dad, I redecorated look on her face when I came through the door. Oh well, I hated that recliner anyway.

Mine always got excited about the hunt and know when you are getting "there". I had a male that would sleep in the back seat of the truck until you turned down the country roads, then he's sit up and start looking around. When you turned on the farm raod he's foam at the mouth and sing to you. We'd always start out running the dumb off of them where little chance of getting into birds was probable. After 20 minutes they'd settle down. Except one time the little male jumped out of the truck and locked up, Abby pointed from the back seat and Mickey braced her from the front seat after kicking dad out. The birds were under the oak tree we had parked under. Dad almost blew the mirror off of my brand new F350 that day.

Thanks for the thread, good memories of hunting with some great dogs and my best friend. All of them are gone now but I still remember those times.
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Old January 17, 2012, 05:42 PM   #9
markj
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Quote:
Does anyone have any experience hunting a dog that you also treat like a pet?
I got 6 now, one is an inside dog the others canty sit still inside they need to run run run. They will sit by my feet at night sometimes on them. They will hunt anything I desire to hunt including furry critters. Shorthairs will bay when at the end of a blood trail on deer etc.

www.gundogforum.com is a great place to find a dog fits your needs.

Been raising them for over 30 years now, only dog I will have.
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Old January 17, 2012, 11:01 PM   #10
globemaster3
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We bid our beloved all-liver GSP female a heartfelt and saddened goodbye at the age of 15 in 2010. I hunted her hard the first 4 years on pheasant, hungarian partridge, quail, ducks, and geese. Later, bird hunting dropped off as the USAF sent me places where it wasn't conducive. Her entire life she was an indoor dog.

My experience was this: she was a natural bird dog, required some whoa training, but possessed the instinct to point; a great family dog who endured countless ear and tail pulls from my kids without EVER a mean reaction; always loving; served as the best method to get my oldest to sleep through the night at age 4 by putting the 2 in bed together; my oldest was 13 when we put "her" dog down (dog was mine before she was born), and that dog slept with her every night.

When she was young, she had lots of energy and loved to run. Inside, she had that nervous jittery kind of energy that seemed to scream "I want to do something, but what?" As she aged, probably around 5, she mellowed out. She could still run with the best of them if given the opportunity, but in normal circumstances she was just a mellow, happy to be here dog.

For duck hunting in early season before it got too cold, she was great. I was hesitant to hunt her once the temps really fell as her lack of body fat and thin coat really didn't insulate her while sitting still. Running was a different story.

I wouldn't hesitate to get another, and my kids ask me often when we will get another "Jessie".

So, good luck with your choice. There are some great breeds out there to choose from. Just remember each dog has a personality of their own, but often inside of the "norm" for their breed. YMMV.
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Old January 18, 2012, 07:14 AM   #11
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My Great-Uncle raised, trained and hunted some of the best GSP's I have ever seen. For the most part they were tempermental and high strung. They were all in a kennel and he never mentioned thinking of them as indoor dogs although I never asked. I know he was really attached to them. It hurt him deeply when his health declined and he gave them up. He said they should be hunted and made sure they went to someone who would take them afield.
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Old January 18, 2012, 09:58 PM   #12
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We put a lot of time into training out labs to do both. Our most recent sale was to a client in Georgia who bought a 18 month old dog from us who we raised in the house. He is every bit as good a bird dog if not better than a kennel raised dog. This dog lived for two things, the retrieve and your companionship.

If you want a good dual purpose dog look at the pedigree. Don't get a pup who's parents are both field champions and that is all that is in their pedigree. Get one with a mixed pedigree. Usually the stud has a good hunting pedigree and the female has a good show pedigree. This combination will give the pup a better chance at being a good house pet as well as being able to perform in the field. If you get a straight hunting dog, it will drive you nuts with how much energy it will have.

If you need help picking a breeder or need help learning how to pick one please shoot me a PM and I will help you out. what ever you do, do not go to just any old breeder and get a pup, you could wind up being very sorry if the pup turns out not to be healthy have you have to put it down early or are not able to hunt with it.
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Old January 21, 2012, 03:23 AM   #13
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German shorthairs are great hunting dogs but dumber than rocks. I have a dual purpose dog. . Sort of. I have a breed of Alaskan husky called a wasilla tikanna. They bred them as bear hunting dogs. After having had a bear break into my house three times it was a worthwhile investment. He ran head first after a big 300 lbser that was trying to get in my garage after my trash and always successful at chasing off the local bears. Along with my German Shepard and trusty 870 to back him up
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Old January 21, 2012, 03:34 AM   #14
Baylorattorney
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My shorthair is likely still on a point, if she isn't in her kennel and it can be a real pain trying to keep track of her.
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Old January 21, 2012, 06:26 AM   #15
Pilot
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I had a German Shorthaired Pointer for 15 years until I had to put him down due to old age/health reasons. He was a great dog. He was mainly a house pet, but I did hunt himw ith some training on a Pheasant farm I belonged to. He was natural pointer, and I never had to worry about him off a leash, because he would always keep me in sight in the field, and maintain about 30 - 50 yards ahead of me, then look back, stop, and wait until I caught up a bit, then he kept going maintaining that seperation unless I called him back.

GSP's are NOT dumb. They are in general bright, attentive dogs, with a kind dispostion. Yes, the are FULL of energy, and you must run them daily, so it is nice to have some land for them to run on. They need this daily or sometimes more. Yes, they are chewers, and get sepertion anxiety, if they are confined, make sure they have nothing to chew on, like hand towels, furniture, etc. Mine was not a furniture chewer, or destructive, but would eat things like hand towels if left alone, so keept stuff away.

They are great pets, and like others have said, not a mean bone in their bodies. Mine was an 80 lb male, very tall with long legs. Kids would bother him (pull ears, and tail, try to ride him, etc) when they came over, and he'd just leave the room, and give me a look like, "when are these effers leaving?"

They are probably a bit more work than your average Lab, but they are worth it. I want to get another one soon.
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Old January 22, 2012, 10:57 PM   #16
grubbylabs
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Most hunting dogs are very bright, and need a job. Many people confuse high energy with stupidity. And its simply not the case unless you are referring to the owner being stupid. Like I said earlier get one with a mixed pedigree, show and field, and you will have a better chance of having one you can tolerate being in the house.
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Old January 29, 2012, 04:56 PM   #17
scotts_4x
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Here's my 70lb monster today after his last hunt of the season. Very good dog in the field and a very good pet. We have about 120 lbs of gsp that sleeps in our bed under the covers. I've never had this adversely affect their ability to get the job done. They do need regular exercise or they become little ****s but that's just the nature of the breed. I would say that it is a very heavy decision/commitment but i am very happy with mine and will never own another breed.


-scott
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Old January 30, 2012, 05:28 PM   #18
markj
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Quote:
get one with a mixed pedigree, show and field
yep my pups ma just made dual champ from a long line of duals down from Hillhavens Hustler she is a cutie, my wife fell in love with her so she is an inside dog. Calm in the house and will run a field like no other. Main thing is enough outdoor activity. Athletes require a high level of activity just to remain calm.

Her pa was 2009 NAGD, NFC, is a FT ch and AFC out of the same lines. Go for it
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Old January 31, 2012, 10:17 AM   #19
Dennis6474
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My GSP was both a house and hunting dog until she died. Helped raise a couple of kids and was a great companion. She was a little hyper but not so bad you could not live with it indoors and out.

She was a hunting fool though. If you got the gun out she would have a heart attack getting in the truck. With minimal training she would out hunt most trained dogs we went with. She covered the field before the pointers even got going. In old age she went blind but would still point quail at 20 feet.

If I still had any quail around I would have another one and it would sleep inside.
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Old February 23, 2013, 05:20 PM   #20
millerma
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Offseason Training

I have 1 yr old GSP that spent 6 months in training. I am wanting to find things to do around the yard or near by park to help keep his newly learned skills up. I know I can get some farm raised quail and release them but need some other ideas for when I do not have time to get birds for him to find. Any ideas would be greatly appreicated.

Thanks,

Mike
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Old February 23, 2013, 07:04 PM   #21
CurlyQ.Howard
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Yup. That's the way to do it: Have the dog as a pet and as a hunting companion. You will bond and also have greater success in the field. It's worked every time I've tried it. By the way the GSP is a fantastic breed. I had one thirty-five years ago, and that dog could do any and everything (fantastic hunter, great pet, and a wonderful guard dog). He wasn't solid liver, but I didn't have a choice (traded a worn out 10 speed for him), but if I had had a choice in color, solid liver it would have been. By the way, everybody loved him!

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Old February 23, 2013, 07:57 PM   #22
alex0535
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Be prepared for it to roam around if you let it... And if it ever see's you or anyone else walking around with a gun it will get excited.

Our neighbors GSP is an example of a dog with a high prey drive but is not taken out nearly enough to satisfy those needs. It ruined a day of hunting for me last deer season when it saw that I was walking around with camouflage and a gun. Dog got excited and took off making huge running circles through the woods in every direction, occasionally barking and scaring off every deer that heard any of it. We had to call the neighbor to keep its shock collar on to keep it out of the woods.

They are intelligent, and they get bored and frustrated that they are not hunting and it affects their behavior. Many are high strung. Take them out for a run.

As far as a way to keep one entertained and trained in the yard. You could do something similar to how they train bomb/drug dogs. Get 4 boxes and hide a bird in one of them. Reward the dog for pointing to the one with the bird in it. Then increase number of boxes. Never show the dog where it is, make it listen and use its nose to find it.
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Old February 23, 2013, 08:13 PM   #23
BerdanSS
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My good friend has one. That dog may as well be their fourth child...Has full run of the house privileges and sleeps on the bed with them too That being said. People pay hundreds of dollars for my buddy to bring him on hunts with them. He's even traveled far out of state for it. I've never seen him in action, but I hear when he gets out of the truck in the field, he's all business.


Oh, he said he's the best security dog he's ever had and is great with the kids too.
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Old February 23, 2013, 08:26 PM   #24
CurlyQ.Howard
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Yes, don't let it roam. You will be sorry forever if you do as no good will come from it.
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Old February 24, 2013, 09:31 AM   #25
Hansam
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Does anyone have any experience hunting a dog that you also treat like a pet? I didnt know if spoiling a dog as a pet might negativley affect hunting discipline and overall ability.

First I'm a hunt dog trainer and while I specialize in flushing retrievers my experience can pertain to pointers too - at least in this particular aspect.

My hunting dogs are also family pets. They don't live their lives in an outside kennel away from the family. That being said though everyone in my family (including the kids) understand that there are certain rules that must be obeyed with the dogs because they ARE hunting dogs and not just pets. While I personally believe that these certain rules should pertain to ALL dogs and not just hunting dogs I also know that some of these rules would be difficult for many people to follow. So long as such rules are obeyed in regards to the dogs though their hunting ability and discipline will not be affected negatively.

I won't go into these rules (as I stated some of these rules will be difficult for many people to follow because they contradict what many people believe regarding dogs) but if you're interested send me a PM and I'll pm you with a list and explanations.

Quote:
Good noses, a little high strung and had to watch him in the heat. He did eat the my friend's couch...
That's ANY well bred field dog. High energy, highly intelligent and very prone to mischief (primarily chewing things up) when bored. Keep the dog well exercised and he/she'll be fine in the house. With sporting dogs its best to keep them kenneled up when nobody is home with them to avoid such mischief.

Quote:
How good they are at either is generally up to the owner.
That's not entirely true. Genetics play a lot in dogs' abilities as well as proper training. There are some dogs that just CAN'T learn as much as other dogs in the same breed can. Nothing to do with the owner or trainer - just the dog. Its the same in people. That said it IS the owner that makes a huge impact on the dog's adherence to its training and discipline AFTER the dog has gone home from the trainer.

Quote:
You have a pet for 365 days a year and a pointer for maybe 20?
I chose a labrador from an upland breeder.
She is not a ranging pointer, but knows how to find birds and is disciplined, intelligent.
A lab (field bred that is and not English show bred) is no better a pet than a properly bred GSP nor are they any better of hunter than a GSP. They just happen to hunt in a different fashion. I love labs and prefer to work mostly with labs but I can also say objectively that a GSP or GWP will be just as good a dog, both as a hunter and a pet. Its all about their genetics, the training they get and of course whether or not the owner's expectations are being upheld by the owner.

Quote:
Properly trained and dealt with, there is no finer breed of dog out there. Though I caution a bargain dog from a backyard breeder.
That can be said about labs, springers, etc...

Quote:
My BIL (years ago) got a German Shorthair and it was very "headstrong". He didn't know how to train it I suppose. You'd let it go in the field and he'd be 100 yards ahead of you getting birds up all over the place.

When they left the house for short trips (couple hours) they'd leave him in the "breezeway" and he ate most of the wood there destroying it.
Proper training and adherence to the same standards set by the trainer (or lack thereof) is the issue in this case.

I've found that most people's complaints about their dogs' misbehavior is directly resultant from their lack of discipline and training in the way they handle their dogs.

Quote:
If you want to spend some time and know how to train them German Shorthairs are great. If you've never trained a dog go for a Lab. Even I could train a lab.
If you've never trained a dog (or even if you have) hire a good hunt trainer that specializes in the kind of hunting dog you've got. You'd be amazed at what a professional hunt trainer can teach your dog vs. what you can. There's a lot more to hunt training than just finding birds, fetching etc.

Quote:
German shorthairs are great hunting dogs but dumber than rocks.
That's odd - that's the first time I've ever heard someone say that about GSP. Where's your supporting evidence?

Quote:
Most hunting dogs are very bright, and need a job. Many people confuse high energy with stupidity. And its simply not the case unless you are referring to the owner being stupid.
Truer words haven't been spoken yet.

Quote:
Yes, don't let it roam. You will be sorry forever if you do as no good will come from it.
Don't let ANY dog roam freely. That's not good at all.
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